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Medieval and Renaissance (Special Collections): Home

This guide lists many primary sources, facsimiles, and other resources, grouped by topic, language, and century.


Special Collections, located on the first floor in Hodges Library, preserves and provides access to rare and unique materials that support instruction and research at the University of Tennessee. Available formats include rare books, manuscripts, letters, diaries, photographs, and digital collections. This research guide identifies special collections materials related to medieval and Renaissance studies.

The guide is not a comprehensive list but, instead, an introduction to prominent topics and themes available in our collections. To find more materials on a specific topic:


When searching for materials, try spelling things with an F for the S, or a V for the U.  Some titles are spelled with modern letters, and some aren't.

General Resources to Get Started

Special Collections owns four extensive collections of facsimiles, in addition to many individual volumes in either facsimile or primary form.


The Henry Bradshaw Society (for the editing of rare liturgical texts). For descriptions of each volume, go to

Early English Manuscripts in Facsimile (mostly ecclesiastical, but not entirely). 

Parker Society for Fathers and Early Writers of English Reformed Church (55 folumes, volume 55 is the index.) For descriptions of each volume, go to

The Hakluyt Society Travelogues (many series, with many volumes in each).  For descriptions of each volume, go to

Some Helpful Definitions

ambo - a pulpit from which the Bible was read

cartulary - a register listing all of the deeds, or charters, of a monastery or estate

codicology - the study of manuscripts

ecclesiastical - relating to churches

facsimile - an exact copy of a book or manuscript

illuminated manuscript - a book with brightly colored illustrations, highlighted with gold or silver

liturgical - referring to public worship

manuscript - a book created or reproduced by hand

paleography - the study of ancient handwriting

schemata - a diagram or sketch showing details

travelogue - a record of travels, or information about traveling

vellum - a writing surface made from animal skin, like parchment

Contact Information

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Special Collections
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1015 Volunteer Boulevard
Knoxville, TN 37996
(865) 974-4480

Monday-Friday: 9AM-5:30PM
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